Safety First on the water this summer

Media Release

DC216/2016

08 December 2016

Joint release with:

Luke Hartsuyker

Federal Member for Cowper

The marine safety message was driven home to boaties today, with Nationals Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker and Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester visiting Port Macquarie Marine Rescue to reinforce the importance of being safe on the water over the summer holiday season.

“I brought Minister Chester to Port Macquarie Marine Rescue today to inspect the new Westport Spirit rescue vessel, and to remind anyone thinking about getting out on the water this summer to take safety seriously,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“The Mid North Coast offers unlimited opportunities for boating, sailing, fishing, surfing and enjoying the great outdoors. Unfortunately, these can be risky activities unless proper precautions are followed.

“There are simple steps every skipper should take to stay safe on the water. Ensure your boat is in good working order before leaving home. Log-in with Marine Rescue before you head offshore (and remember to log-off when you've returned home safely). Carry all the recommended safety equipment, and make sure it is current and in working order. And if the weather looks marginal, stay home—don't create a situation where Marine Rescue needs to attempt a rescue in dangerous conditions.

“Most importantly, always wear a life jacket! Around 90 per cent of people killed in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket.”

Mr Chester praised members of the Port Macquarie Marine Rescue Unit for their dedication to the community and commitment to ensuring volunteers were well equipped.

“It is comforting to know these great volunteers are on call and available to help if trouble strikes. Their jobs are made much easier if boat owners and captains take a safety first approach every time and avoid putting themselves and their boats in dangerous situations,” Mr Chester said.

Mr Chester also warned about the dangers of drinking and boating.

“Excessive alcohol consumption and boating don't mix. Anyone in control of a recreational vessel needs to stay under the 0.05 alcohol limit,” he said.

“A day out on the water can be great fun. With a ‘safety first’ approach, boat owners can ensure that everyone comes home safely.”

For more information about boating safety, including equipment lists, and boating safety campaign logos and banners for media use, visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/safety-rules/index.html